August Hermann Francke (1663–1727) was a key figure in Lutheran Pietism, an inner-protestant reform and renewal movement founded principally by Philipp Jakob Spener. Francke studied philosophy and theology, among other subjects, and at the University of Leipzig met Spener, who became a major influence. The improvement of the world by means of the betterment of man was Francke's vision, which focussed on the individual. In 1698, he founded an orphanage and a school for impoverished children at Halle (Saale), where he was also a professor at preacher at St. Ulrich's Church. This school, later to be known as the "Franckesche Stiftungen" (Francke Foundation), would within the space of a few decades become Europe's foremost Protestant educational institution, in which fundamental ideas of the Reformation were put into practice. Adherents of Halle Pietism were among the founders of the Danish-Halle Misiion, the first organised mission in Protestant history. The Tranquebar missionaries Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Plütschau were also students of Francke's.
Martin Bernigeroth (1670–1733), Portrait of August Hermann Francke (1663–1727), engraving, 146x96 mm, n.d.; Source: SLUB Dresden, Deutsche Fotothek, Permalink: http://www.deutschefotothek.de/obj70249711.html, location of original: Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.